Couple Relationships for Caregivers

Focus on your relationship as a couple.

The relationship of a couple has its own challenges in a caregiving situation. Learn about those special circumstances and techniques for maintaining that special bond and dynamic.

Intimacy in Caregiving

Those in a partner relationship may find themselves caring for each other more and more as needs change. Or sometimes one partner becomes more dependent and the healthier partner becomes the primary caregiver. In either situation, the couple relationship may be impacted. As dependency increases, couples often report changes in both the emotional and physical aspects of their relationships. In cases of dementia, the person you spent your life with may no longer seem to be present. Read more on intimacy in caregiving.


Nurturing Couple Relationships

Caregivers frequently find it challenging to balance the caregiving responsibilities with time for other family members. Responsibilities for parents, children and partners are squeezing caregivers who are in the “sandwich generation.” Demands on the caregiver may leave little time and energy for partners. Many caregivers say they gain strength for caregiving from personal relationships. A positive relationship with a partner and children is beneficial in reducing personal stress, managing the many tasks and providing emotional support.

Include your whole family to give you more time to spend with your partner. Everyone benefits.

  • Exchange responsibilities with other family members. Give yourself and your daughter a break. You care for the baby while she visits her grandmother.
  • Involve children and grandchildren. Reading or playing games with the older family members is fun for both generations.
  • Ask your partner to spend time with you and the older family member.

Read more about nurturing your relationship as a couple.